“Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up,” let Israel now say,
“Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up;
Yet they have not prevailed against me . . .”
May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward;
Let them be like grass upon the housetops,
Which withers before it grows up . . .
Psalm 129:1–2, 5–6 NASB
When God comes onto the stage of human history, He does not descend from His throne in power and majesty and demand instant obedience. Such obedience would be motivated by fear, and would not necessarily indicate true submission from the heart. Historically, therefore, God has come among men in a variety of disguises. Those whose hearts were humble and sincere penetrated the disguise and responded appropriately. But the rebellious continued in their rebellion, not even aware that it was almighty God whom they had rejected.
For more than three thousand years, from the time of the Exodus onward, God has chosen to identify Himself with Israel as His people. Amazingly, this has never been affected by Israel’s weakness or waywardness. Even at a time when they were enduring divine judgement on their disobedience, the prophet Zechariah pronounced God’s wrath against all the nations who had plundered them, but said to Israel: “He who touches you, touches the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8 NASB).
Here the psalmist warns that those who ﬁght against God’s purpose for Israel will be like “grass upon the housetops.” They may begin to sprout with unnatural rapidity, but their root has no soil. They will wither as quickly as they grew, and be left as a relic of history. The key to true prosperity, for individuals and for nations alike, is to discern God in His people and to identify with His purpose for them. Today God is restoring Zion. Here is the watershed of history. Those who align themselves with the restoration of Zion will enjoy God’s favour and blessing; those who oppose will wither like grass on the housetops.
Lord, help me to discern You in Your people and to align myself with Your purpose for them.
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The Psalms supply encouragement, inspiration, correction, inner strength and vision. These short meditations on the Psalms help get your day off to a good start!